I hope everyone is staying safe in these unprecedented times! I want to again recognize all the great things that Clubs have been doing to keep their coaches, players and families engaged in this time of uncertainty. I truly believe that the innovative training methods and the players doing so much at-home training is providing development opportunities that weren’t recognized before, which is good thing for everyone.
Over the past couple of weeks, we have continued working through and completing refunds for teams that registered for Presidents Cup and State Cup. We have also established weekly DOC meetings to ensure that the lines of communication are open and that we have an open forum for not only communications on the current environment, but also in sharing of best practices.
As it’s been a couple of weeks since my last communication, I wanted to provide updates on topics that some have asked about.
Suspension of sanctioned activities through April 30, 2020
Currently the suspension of sanctioned activities remains through April 30, 2020. US Youth Soccer recently extended their suspension of activities to May 15, 2020 and US Soccer is now June 1, 2020. As this situation is obviously very, very fluid we will communicate any changes, if any as soon as their greater clarity for state and local authorities.
Tryouts may not begin before May 1, 2020. However, this could change based on the guidance of federal, state, and local authority. We will communicate any changes in a timely manner as directives are provided.
Although we are not playing now, any contact with anyone outside of your Club is prohibited. Clubs may promote their tryouts in very general ways, but contact cannot be personalized to a single player or family. Please review Bylaw 812 if there are any questions.
We have added a new Community Resource page to our website. During these times it is important that we provide support that extends beyond the soccer field, so we have reached out to our partners wanted to share all that they and government agencies have made available to the community. If you know of additional resources that can be added please contact Heber Valenzuela.
US Soccer Suspended Activities
It was announced that US Soccer will be extending their suspension on activities until July 1, 2020. This affects Coaching Education and Referee Education. As this was just shared, we will explore options, once there is more clarity on the re-opening of the state, to re-launch Coaching Education as soon as possible.
Also, there have been some questions about using this time to begin referee recertification process. Unfortunately, the materials needed for the annual recertification typically are not available until July. I have spoken with Todd Sergi, State Referee Administrator, and he has assured me that as soon as materials are available, he will launch the referee recertification program.
We are continuing our eSports activities. The response and engagement by those participating has been outstanding. Along with the local events, we are now partnering with New Mexico Youth Soccer, Colorado Soccer, Nevada Youth Soccer, and Utah Youth Soccer to launch a regional tournament. This has been a tremendous success and we will continue to work to explore and evolve this tremendous opportunity.
US Soccer Shuts Down the DA
Yes, it happened. The rumors came last week, and the decision was announced this week. There are a lot of moving parts with this situation so I will ask that everyone hang in there as things fall in place regionally and nationally. The good news is that we are very fortunate to have many strong leagues throughout Arizona that will provide opportunities for everyone to play locally. We are very aware that there is lots of news out there and I promise that we are very tuned in and leverage our contacts and network nationally. With that we have been and remain maniacally focused and committed to ensuring we develop soccer for everyone in Arizona, at every level, and in every community.
In closing I want to thank everyone for their commitment to their Clubs, teams, players, families, and communities. The collaboration, cooperation and communication have been inspiring and should make you proud, because I promise me and the staff at ASA are very, very proud of this great soccer community. If you need anything, I am only a phone call or email away so don’t hesitate to reach out anytime.